City Council approved the use of municipal authority to reduce the availability of handguns in Toronto. Amendments to a Toronto land use zoning bylaw will restrict the use of guns and gun-associated activities to establishments operated by the police. The amendments will also restrict or prohibit establishments that manufacture, assemble, warehouse or distribute guns. The new restrictions will apply only to new firearm-related uses. Existing businesses can continue to operate until the property or establishment changes to a different use or the use is discontinued. Activities such as target practice by gun clubs in City-owned facilities will no longer be permitted.
These measures reinforce Toronto’s strategy of balanced prevention and enforcement to deter gun-related offences. The roots of gun violence are complex and therefore need to be addressed through a comprehensive approach (as outlined in Toronto’s Community Safety Plan). The City is pursuing a strategy in which all governments, police services, community agencies and businesses work together to effect beneficial change. Banning handguns is one action that will help break the cycle of violence in Toronto.